Monday, October 20, 2008

Chillin' in the sukkah

The dads hanging out in the Sukkah as Erev Sukkot approaches. The assorted crap on the table is all the decorations they were supposed to be hanging up, while instead they sat on their butts and waited for some spiked apple cider. (Thanks, hon!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sukkot menu

Forecast: sunny, high 67, breezy. (It'll probably be around 60 by the time we sit down to eat)

first night, meat meal, lots of toddlers:
Hot spiced cider (with rum, for the grownups)

Wine/grape juice
Curried squash soup (ckn stock base, lots of ginger)
Katie's Chicken (small pieces marinated in soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and cinnamon - out of this world and child-friendly)
Veggies (provided by guests)

Leaf-, hammer-, and animal-shaped pepparkakor (Swedish spice cookies, sort of like very thin gingerbread)

Second night, dairy meal, rabbi, his family and some of our relatives:

More cider
Stuffed mushrooms (hot)
Stuffed dates (cold)
Caramelized onion tarlets (room temp)

Wine/grape juice
Roasted Vegetable stew served in a roasted pumpkin (ta-da!)

More pepparkakor
Apple pie or apple crisp

HA. Somehow I'm going to make all of this, and build/set up/decorate the sukkah, and work until 2pm on Monday.

I'm insane.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tefillah, Teshuvah, Tzedakah... wait, you mean NOW??

Apparently tonight is Kol Nidre.

Crap. Wow that was quick.

Last night I discovered that i was apparently on crack when I bought the fabric for the sides of the sukkah, thinking that 60" would be plenty to go from 8" above the ground to the top of the sukkah... because out West, all Jews are midgets?

No worries, ran to the fabric store at lunch and got some more, in a sort-of-matching color. (Hey, when the fabric is from the $1/yard remnant pile you take what you can get.)

Tefillah - Is it just me, or does time go more quickly as we get older? When I think about all the stuff I have to do, time seems to shrink down smaller and smaller - and so do I. My prayers for the coming year are that I may be able to live more in the moment, enjoying the time I have, than worrying about the time I don't have.

Teshuvah, this year, seems to be about remembering I have a shul community that I've mostly abandoned, and returning to serving it. Maybe also, in the process, letting them help me figure out what I'm supposed to be doing with my life.

Tzedakah - I think I'll take the Toddler with me tomorrow afternoon when I go to deliver tzedakah to the local food bank. (I know, I know, we're not supposed to deal with money on Yom Tov, but this isn't "work" it's tzedakah and they really need it.) I think it's a good YK lesson for him, since he's been putting money in before Shabbos dinner for months.

May everyone reading this get an extra bonus point to be signed and sealed for a good year!
(I do like to offer a little bit of incentive to hang around) ;-}

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The War Against Sukkot

Today I ran some errands at lunch, stoppping to pick up some leaf-shaped cookie cutters and scope out the end-of-summer discounts on hanging candle lanterns and chandeliers. No problem, found what I needed - but you wouldn't believe the store signs:

"Fall Decor"

"Autumn Harvest"

even "Seasonal Items"

Excuse me? Since when did we stop calling holidays by their names?
I am deeply offended that these stores, stores which presumably are catering to their buying
public, couldn't bring themselves to post a single "Happy Sukkot" or "Zman Simchaseinu" sign up.

For crying out loud, it's not like people won't KNOW what all this plastic crap is FOR. Where but in a sukkah would you put up garlands of plastic flowers or fall fruits?

I think it's time we called them on their doublespeak, friends. Sure, it may not be "P.C.," it might make some people feel "left-out" or "unacknowledged," but we need to make a stand.

If not now, when? (At Pesach, when they put out all the beitza-dye as "spring egg coloring kits"?)

If not us, then who? (Are we going to leave it to the Zoroastrians?)

If they want a war, let's fight back.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Tuesday afternoon, we took the toddler down to the river to do tashlich ("that stupid galutziana custom," as Bad Cohen's grandfather called it).

We have lots of lovely parks, and our congregation met at one that has not only river paths and lots of green grassy areas, but also a duck pond. A very very popular duck pond.

Popular with ducks, and their more aggressive goosey friends.

Well, as fun as it is to throw bits of bread in the water, apparently it's more fun to throw them to the ducks and geese.

Especially when it makes the birdies mob around honking and quacking and pecking each other.

Let's just say, in Eugene we don't send scapegoats off to the hills to carry away our sins.

We've got scapeducks.